Monday, September 8, 2014

Common Core Elevator Speech - Day 1

For the next week, I will challenge myself (and you) to work on an elevator speech each day about Common Core Math. I will try to be as fluid as possible in my thinking as if I were describing Common Core to a complete stranger as we rode an elevator together. And with that, here's today's elevator speech:
For me, Common Core is a tool to help students see how the world around us can be explained using critical thinking and mathematical properties. My favorite part of Common Core are the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practice. No matter what grade level, the practices emphasize that both teachers and students are problem solvers and how important it is to understand why mathematical properties and procedures exist, and not just the answer. I get to see my students thinking and focusing on finding solutions through hard work and collaboration instead of me just standing up at the front of the room, telling them a procedure they will most likely forget in a day or two. I get to see students be creative in their mathematical thinking and I help guide them when they need teacher support.
Come along for the ride and share your elevator speech in the comments. Take a minute or two to compose an elevator speech. It's a work in progress...

Going up,

[Update] More days:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7


  1. For me, the Common Core are just standards. There have been standards for a long time, and there will always be standards. They tell me -- and every other teacher -- what we should teach in each grade. The biggest difference between the Common Core and previous standards is the emphasis on conceptual knowledge and application instead of mathematical procedures; however, the Common Core benefits me most because most of the educators in the country now use the same standards as me, and I can find and use resources and ideas more effectively than before the Common Core.

    1. I really enjoyed reading your elevator speech. I think you have a great perspective about most educators in the country using the same standards in order to find and use resources. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My elevator speech:
    If success and understanding is the goal, Common Core is the stairway to that goal. Each year is support by the previous step or stairs. If you have ever walked up stairs with obstructions, such as holes or bulky items you know how difficult it is to continue climbing safely. The content standards as well as the Standards for Mathematical Practice are aimed at removing the obstructions hindering the students' math understandings. Each step is supported by the previous step creating a firm foundation for those who climb it.

    1. I enjoyed reading your elevator speech. Your use of a stairway as an analogy is great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is always a lot more challenging than I initially think it will be. I appreciate the push to reflect on and refine my thinking so that I can articulately convey my beliefs succinctly when I have just those few moments. I need to think about this more.

    1. Agreed: This is challenging. I hope this activity allows us to brainstorm and learn from each other so we can capitalize on foreseeable opportunities.

  4. Have to agree with Robert - I thought I'd have this done a while back and be uber eloquent. Instead I am sharing a "Pixar Pitch" (# 6 from this list starter - would love to hear the visions/passions of your followers. Might even be great to hear from students!

    Once upon a time math was taught as rote isolated skills. Every day, “follow the leader”, memorizing steps, skill and drill.

    One day a forward thinking group said enough – our students deserve better, in fact all students do! Because of that, the Common Core State Standards and Mathematical Practice Standards were developed. College and career readiness starts with embracing applied learning in a context that resembles the real world and anticipates success for all students.

    Because of that, the math teaching and learning ecosystem needed to evolve and educators started to have a common language and goals for content - looking at learning objectives through a lens that emphasizes student engagement and mathematical understanding. Until finally math teaching and learning became a joyful experience as students and educators [FILL IN YOUR BEST HOPE-WISH-DREAM FOR MATH TEACHING/LEARNING/CLASSROOM HERE].

    1. Hi Norma,

      I enjoyed your "follow the leader" mantra... and how it needs to be squashed!

      Thanks for sharing.